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Little and Mercieca win Australian All-Around Titles

26 May 2017

GYMNASTICS: The best in the business lit up the floor at Hisense Arena tonight as Western Australia’s (WA) Emily Little and Queensland’s Michael Mercieca claimed the Senior All-Around Artistic Gymnastics Titles in front of a vocal crowd.

Little prevailed with a score of total 106.750, holding off the competition to claim her first nation,al title by just .350 of a point.

Unfortunately Queensland's Georgia Godwin, the leader after qualifications on Wednesday, had to pull out of the final due to injury, so it was left to Victoria's Georgia-Rose Brown and last year’s champion Rianna Mizzen (also of Queensland) to fight it out with Little. 

Mizzen fell away through inconsistent routines on Floor, Beam and Uneven Bars, ending her night in third on 104.200, but Brown was on top of her game and pushed Little right to the wire to claim silver on 106.400, a fact that wasn’t lost on the eventual champion.

“Georgia-Rose is looking really good at the moment, you can tell she’s put in a lot of hard work so to finish just above her is great,” Little said humbly.

“I was coming second after the qualifiers - after a mistake on Beam - and I was pretty confident if I just stuck all my performances in the final I was a good chance to finally win Gold.”

Brown did manage to win a gold of her own though, as Victoria took out the Senior Woman’s Team event with a total score 312.850, ahead of WA on 293.050, and New South Wales on 277.950.

Men’s Champion, Mercieca, was focused and consistent across both days of competition to comfortably be crowned All-Around Champion with a score of 159.933.

It was only last year that Mercieca was one of the favourites to win, but succumbed to an injury in qualifiers that ruled him out of the finals.

“Last year was quite disappointing to come away with an injury in qualifiers, but it all came together this year, which feels so good,” Mercieca said.

For the Men’s minor medals steady, performances from South Australia’s Clay Stephens saw him score 155.448 to narrowly edge out Mitchell Jones (QLD) to take the silver, with Jones taking bronze on 155.366.

Both champions are looking to the future, with Mercieca getting ready for World University Games in August this year as well as World Championship Trials in September.  Little will go back to plan with her Head Coach before deciding on her next move, but is full of confidence going forward.

“I know Mihai (Brestyan) has a couple of plans up his sleeve, and I’m ready for anything...I really just want to get out there, increase my difficulty and keep pushing it as a world-class gymnast.”

Hisense Arena will click back into gear tomorrow evening with the Senior International athletes once again locking horns in part one of the Individual Apparatus Finals.  The action will kick off from 7pm.

Gymnastics Australia

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